Friday, November 6, 2009

US Airlines Hike Holiday Surcharges

Most of the largest U.S. airlines have increased a surcharge for travel on the busiest travel days to $20 each way, up from $10. As per the information available, Delta, Northwest, American and United have doubled the surcharge they’ve imposed for the busiest travel days around Christmas and New Year’s.

USA Today reported that this week’s increases are aimed at getting as much revenue as the financially battered airlines can on the days people travel most near the holidays. It also highlighted that the busiest travel days ordinarily fall right before Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Before Christmas, it’s December 23 and 24. But this year, Christmas, along with New Year’s Day, falls on a Friday. That can extend the period for outbound travel to the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas, which gives the airlines the opportunity to charge more. But it also can bunch travel on the Sunday after Christmas, December 27 — a day when many of the $20 one-way surcharges will be imposed.

Tim Smith, spokesman for Fort Worth-based American Airlines, confirmed the higher surcharges, reported The AP. He said that although airlines are filing the increases as a surcharge this time, “fares on those peak days have always tended to be higher. It’s a matter of supply and demand.”

Source: Eye for Travel

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